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Microsoft Garage


Microsoft's Photos Companion is a neat utility for transferring images from Android to your PC (Hands-on)

Microsoft Garage releases plenty of new projects with some being wacky and some more interesting with potential to grow into a real Microsoft app. The latter is the case of the new Photos Companion, an app that does what its name suggests: it's an Android (and iOS) app that lets you quickly transfer photos from your phone to the Photos app on a Windows 10 PC via WiFi. It works very well from my experience and might become my go-to way for sending screenshots to my computer.

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Favorites Lock Screen from Microsoft Garage puts your news and interests front and center

Microsoft Garage's project keeps pumping up new apps and ideas for Android and the latest is Favorites Lock Screen. As the name implies, this is a lockscreen replacement app that puts emphasis on your favorite things. Unlike Microsoft's graduated Next Lock Screen, this one is still in its infancy and it shows. The icon is disturbingly low-res and the interface doesn't feel half as polished as Next. However, it could still be worth checking out if you'd like some news to go with your phone unlocking.

The idea behind Favorites is to have two screens: one has an HD image with a Bing search bar, camera icon, and quick access to Bing searches for the character in the wallpaper; and the second has a stream of news for your favorite topics.

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Outings by Microsoft Garage is a beautiful personalized travel discovery application

Microsoft Garage pumps out new apps very frequently, and while some graduate to become full-fledged products, others stay just a "garage" project: neat proof-of-concept, but not more. The latest app from it is Outings, a travel discovery app.

Outings is personalized to your liking by first asking you to choose at least 5 topics you're interested in like landscapes, family activities, winter recreation, city life, history and culture, and more. Based on these, you will get a curated list of destinations and stories from travel blogs under the Discover tab, which show up as large swipeable cards . The Nearby tab has stories on places around you and the Search tab lets you look for specific topics and destinations.

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Microsoft merges advanced facial recognition and Bing image search in new Face Swap app

While Microsoft is undoubtedly better known for its productivity suite, the remit of in-house development studio The Garage is is a little broader and more playful. Not unlike the "20% time" projects at Google, Microsoft Garage is responsible for experiments that may or may not end up becoming fully-fledged products. The latest to see a full release after a few years of testing is Face Swap, an app that will automatically swap your face into any scene.

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Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant arrives on the Play Store, as a beta

Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant was originally released last year as a Chrome extension, and has slowly expanded to more web browsers since then. It has gained a somewhat unpopular reputation, due to Microsoft recently displaying ads for it in Windows 10. Still, if you happen to use it, you'll be happy to know that an Android version is in development.

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Trip Tracker from Microsoft Garage works like Google Maps' Timeline feature

Microsoft Garage's teams are bolstering with new ideas and different takes on existing ones. Every couple of weeks, sometimes even days, there's a new project being released under the Garage umbrella, and today marks the arrival of one of these: Trip Tracker.

It is built by the same team that brought us Arrow Launcher and Next Lock Screen, and uses a similar idea of contextual location. The app is a bit of a demo for the LOOP SDK (Location and Observation Platform), which is a Microsoft platform for Android and iOS that can grab location in a battery-efficient way. Trip Tracker leverages LOOP to gather data about your whereabouts and presents it to you in an easily digestible way.

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News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage that personalizes the news

We all have our own unique ways to read the news. Some like RSS apps. Some like Flipboard, or Yahoo News Digest. Others prefer to read the news direct on the website. There's yet another solution now: News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage, a department of the software giant that seems to have an unlimited stream of Android apps, and it aims to center the news around you and your profile, finding content that'll interest you.

By logging in with social network profiles (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, alongside the customary email, are the options) News Pro will show relevant content that it thinks you'll like.

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Microsoft Garage Releases Sprightly And Kaizala To The Play Store, Catering To Small Business Owners And Teams

Are Microsoft Garage's resources infinite? I sure think so. The program keeps fostering and releasing new Android apps on the Play Store faster than Kairosoft can pump out simulation games. Sometimes, they're quirky apps that just want to make your mornings worse and other times they're interesting apps that grow to become useful projects like Next Lockscreen and Arrow Launcher. Today's new releases could be either: they're limited in scope but have what is needed to be very useful in their niche.

Sprightly caters to a limited audience of business owners who work on a small scale and want to manage their media communications themselves.

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[Never Too Early For A Smile] Microsoft Garage's Mimicker Alarm Makes A Challenge Of Your Morning Wake-Up Routine

Wake up! Wakey wakey... It's time to rise and shine. Come on, wake up silly! I said wake up! Argh. It's like you're ignoring me on purpose. What's this ridiculous game we keep playing bruh? You ask me to do something for you every morning and I'm always up and at'em because you need me to. Then you're all about not even listening to me. And you have the nerve to hate me for actually doing my job! Ungrateful human. Oh wake up, please. Sigh. I hate this game.

I bet you don't do this to your other apps. They probably notify you and you're instantly all over them to see what they want.

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Connections Is A Microsoft Garage Project That Consolidates Information About Your Contacts, Available Only In India

One of a smartphone's core functions is to contact your contacts, so you probably have a bunch of them. Some, maybe even most, folks would consider the default contacts app on their phone sufficient, but Microsoft is working on a piece of software for people who would say otherwise.

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